Born 1970, Fort St. John, British Columbia
Lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia
On December 5, 2002 the inaugural $50,000 Sobey Art Award was awarded to Brian Jungen. Jungen, a graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, has rightfully gained a national reputation as one of Canada's most promising young artists. Brian Jungen challenges prescribed notions of cultural identity and introduces a dialogue between his own ancestry and global economic commodities
Brian Jungen's practice re-crafts prefabricated commodities into sculptural objects, proposing a dialogue between his First Nations ancestry, the global economy and the object of art. Jungen's series of Northwest Coast-style First Nations masks stitched together from disassembled Nike Air Jordans (the Prototype for New Understanding series) puts forward a selection of souvenirs for collecting. In his manner of presentation and within the function of the objects themselves, Jungen engages in an institutional critique of the categories and histories of art institutions, museum practices and ethnographic display. His masks have no labels, save the Nike label; they are detached from any specific "people" and work to displace expected museological frameworks and contexts. In his reconsideration of tradition, Jungen challenges expectation in an anti-nostalgic fashion.
Brian Jungen's solo exhibitions have taken place at: Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC (2001); Solo Exhibition Space, Toronto, ON (2000); YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, ON (2000); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, SK (2000), Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, BC (1999); and Truck Gallery, Calgary, AB (1997). His group exhibitions include: SMAK, Casino 2001, Gent, Belgium; Windsor Art Gallery, 2001; Mackenzie Art Gallery, Better Place, Regina SK, (2001); Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Message by Eviction: New Art from Vancouver, Calgary AB, (2000); and Konstakuten Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2000). Jungen's large sculpture Shapeshifter is currently on display at the National Gallery of Canada.
Brian Jungen is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver.
Visit Brian Jungen's Website
Beer Cooler 2002 - 40.5x71x40.5 cm
Brian Jungen Winner - Sobey Art Award 2002, Collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Photo: Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries Gallery